Advertisements

Hiking through Wharton State Forest

My husband and I have hiked a lot.  We’ve been too many states and mountain ranges and we enjoy it.  We might even enjoy hiking more than running.  Something about being out there in the peace is so much fun.  You can read about any our hikes here.

Anyway, you would think we would have already hiked somewhere local and close to home in South Jersey…yet until recently, we had not.  We both had the day off but weren’t in the “mood” to drive 2 hours north to go hiking so we googled a few trails around us.  Someone mentioned the Botana trail in Wharton State Forest so we decided to look into it.

As most people know, south jersey is flat so it wasn’t a mountainous trail.  In fact, it was one of the easier trails we’ve done and we did see a couple of people with pets.  Definitely a much easier trail than last month in Colorado! The trail itself is about 50 miles long and they do host a no frills ultra there.

The Batona Trail itself is about 50 miles longer and wraps itself from the shore to inland.  We hiked about 5 miles and saw a couple of hikers doing the entire trail.  Hiking the entire trail looks like it would be a lot of fun!

Hiking the batona trail wharton state forest nj

At the end of our personal hike, there is a water tower you can hike up too.  The day we went, it was closed (and there are security cameras, so I don’t recommend jumping the fence).

Hiking the batona trail wharton state forest nj

I know we will be back though.  I think it would be a lot of fun to do the entire 50-mile hike over the course a few days.   Who knows, maybe end at a diner!

Hiking the batona trail wharton state forest nj

To be honest, hiking the Batona Trail opened my eyes that there are gorgeous hikes in South Jersey.  I had always stuck up my nose to hiking in Southern New Jersey but I’m glad we did and I know we will be back.

Other NJ Hikes:
Hiking the Stairway to Heaven
Hiking the Delaware Water Gap
The Time I Saw a Bear While Hiking

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:
Do you like to hike?
What is something interesting you’ve recently found in your area?

Advertisements

November Training

To get it out of the way, November was not really the month I wanted or hoped.  After getting home from one of the best trips of my life, I got food poisoning.  For the entire month, it’s taken a toll on me both physically and mentally.  The doctor said it could last up to 70 days and while I’m staying positive it won’t, I don’t feel 100% 30 days later.  I’m not violently sick, but I am tired, and my body has struggled to digest certain foods including dairy (something it never has).

me running sunrise

Thinking out loud, my workouts and racing in November were slower than anticipated, but you have to run for the current fitness you’re in.  Something that can be much easier said than done.

Mileage: 212
Range of Pace: 6:00-10:31-untimed
Workouts: 3
2X(6.5 tempo runs)
12X400s

Races:
11/11 Haddonfield Road Race  (19:59)
11/12 Blueberry Challenge 5k (20:01)
11/18 Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27.57)
11/24 Medford Turkey Trot (19:02)

Thoughts:
I didn’t have a favorite race but did have a favorite workout. None of my races felt especially good.  To be honest, my slowest race, the Blueberry Challenge 5k) was probably the best.

My workouts felt better though. The minute I finished 12×400 at 6:00 min pace, I felt strong.  I haven’t felt that in charge of my running in a while.  Food poisoning has made longer runs a struggle (with the constant of the feeling of vomiting and using the bathroom), but speed and track workouts have been fine because I’m never too far from anything.

December:

The first half of December will be busy for me.  Ironically, tcloser to the Holidays will be less crazy.  I won’t race as much, but that is only due to the limited amount of races in NJ/Philadelphia during the next two months.  I’ll hopefully do more track workouts.

I mentioned on Instagram but my 2018 is to break 18 minutes in the 5k.  I have been in that fitness before but never been able to run the race.  I’ll do more track workouts and see where it takes me.  I’ll definitely do some half marathons in the spring as well, but I do hope 2018 brings a 5k PR.

 

Posts from the month:
Training without a Coach
How to Build Back Mental Confidence

Posts from Vacation:
Hiking: 
Hiking Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder
Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon
Visiting the Grand Canyon

Running: 
Haunted Half Marathon 5k (19:40)
Two Weeks of Training: Easy Miles Out West

Diners: 
Sams 3 Diner (Denver)
New Castle Diner (Colorado)
King Chefs Diner (Colorado Springs)
Snooze (Denver)

Shoe Reviews:
Nike Zoom Fly Review
Brooks Levitate Shoe Review

Questions for you:
What are your goals for the last month of the year?
How was your November?

Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k (19:02)

Last weekend I ran a local 5k.  As I mentioned in my training log, the morning was a disaster, to say the least, but the problems were mostly my own doing.  I hadn’t done a lot of research about the race and had thought it started at 8:30.  At 7am, I looked up directions and realized it started at 8 am.  I didn’t have time to run home and get to the race, so I had to race with random things in my car: oversized leggings, a spaceman puffer, and an old long sleeve.  Never the less, my race outfit seemed to work out.

I usually like to do 3-4 miles warmup, however, due to being late, I only had time for 1.  During my warmup, I felt awful.  My stomach wasn’t ready to run and to be honest I contemplated why I was even there.  After debating whether I should just donate my race entry fee and leave, I decided to just run.  My goal for the next 2 months are solid workouts, and while my stomach was in knots, I could gut out a good workout.

After chatting with my good friend and fast runner Joe, we were off.  I didn’t feel as bad once we got moving.  My legs were tired. However, my stomach felt as though it would hold out.  I ran with a pack of people for the first mile, and we hit the first mile in 6:08.  I was happy, but also surprised.  I didn’t feel as though as I was moving that quickly.

My goal for the next mile was just to stay with the pack.  The race made several turns around the neighborhood, and I felt like I was sticking with them.  We hit the second mile in 6:03 and I was feeling better.

me running 1

The goal of the last mile of any 5k is to finish.  It never feels good, and this one was no exception.  I was just trying to grit through.  To my (unpleasant) surprise the final part of the race went over grass.  I felt as if I could break 19 again but the grass was not my friend.  Not only that, but the last .2 made 3, right-hand turns.  Not the fastest finish!

I crossed the finish in 19:02 which was exactly the same as the Medford Turkey Trot over Thanksgiving.  I’m happy with my time.  As I mentioned, the next two months are going to be dedicated to more workouts, and I’ll still run 5ks, but I won’t taper for many, if any.   The plan is to get quality workouts in this winter to prepare for Spring races.

Questions for you:

Are you training for anything during the winter?

How much warm-up do you normally do for a race?

Workouts: First Track Session in Months

As many people know from Instagram, I’ve decided to begin training for 5ks.  While I’ll still run longer distances including half marathons, my main goal of 2018 is to break 18 minutes in the 5k.  I’ve been in that fitness before but have never run the race and never produced the results.

me running

Anyway, this week I went back to the track.  I haven’t done track workouts in over 6 months and probably closer to the year.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 12X400 at 6:00 min pace
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Local 5k: 19:02
Sunday: Tempo

Thoughts:

Easy runs, more than ever, are done extremely easy.  Sometimes I run above a 9 min mile or even higher.  For the most part, I don’t wear a watch or care about pace.

Wednesday: 12X400s at 6:00 min pace

For my first track workout in a while, it went well.  I know 6 min pace won’t get me below 18 minutes in a 5k.  However, my fastest 5k since coming back from my break is 18:41.  6 min miles would run an 18:35 which is still an improvement from where I am.  It would be unwise to start at a pace my body hasn’t run in over a year.  Slowly I will progress towards the fitness I want.

Saturday: Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k (19:02)

This race had a lot of other things going on, including messing up the race start time.  I only had time for a 1-mile warmup, had to race in things found in my car, and my stomach was a mess.  Yes, I blog about running and I like to run…no I am rarely “put together”.  Anyway, after my food poisoning reared it’s ugly head,  I sat in my car and decided what I should do.  Not that I wanted to be a hero and “finish any race”, but I hoped my stomach could hold out for 20 minutes…which it did.  My splits were 6:08, 6:03, and 6:06 so I was pleased.

Plus it finished on a field with 3 hairpin turns.  I don’t miss cross country that much.

Sunday: Long Run 14 miles (6.5 at 7:18):

On Sunday, I was feeling less than motivated but the exciting races at the CIM marathon, as well as RnR San Antonio, got me out there.  Once I got started, I felt good.

In all, I’m happy with the week.  It was awesome to watch so many people reach their goals, PRs, and dreams on Sunday at local races.  The next two weeks will be busy with things outside of running.

Posts of the Week:

Hiking Grey Back Peak Trail in Colorado Springs

Training without a Coach

Nike Zoom Fly Review

Questions for you:

How was your training last week?

Do you prefer track workouts or tempo runs?  Or races?

 

Hiking Grey Back Peak Trail

The final hiking post on vacation was also in Colorado Springs.  The Grey Back Peak Trail is about 3 miles and follows a ridge up to a summit.  It’s a fairly easy and quiet trail, and we didn’t see a single person or horse out there (apparently, you can ride your horse).

It starts here on a somewhat single track trail.  You don’t climb much but just follow the straightforward trail for about 1.5-1.7 miles.

Grey Back Peak Trail

There are plenty of rocks to stand and take photos on, if that is your sort of thing. It’s one of the most scenic hikes we have done thus far because you have a view almost 100% of the time.

Grey Back Peak Trail The final hiking post of vacation was also in Colorado Springs. The Grey Back Peak Trail is about a 3 miles and follows a ridge up to a summit. It’s a fairly easy and quiet trail, and we didn’t see a single person or horse out there (apparently, you can ride your horse there).
Once we made it to the end, we were rewarded with a great view overlooking Colorado Springs. We saw several military planes flying too and from the bases. I joked, we can never truly get away from planes. 😉
Grey Back Peak Trail
On the way back down, I wanted to climb up one of the rocks. Most people know by now how clumsy I am, so it was better thought than done. With a running start, boost from my husband, and several attempts I made it up. It makes me look more bad@$$ than I actually am.

In all, it was a great short hike. We were out for about two hours. If you are looking for something relaxing with a great view, I highly recommend the Grey Trail in Colorado Springs.  It was a short but quiet hike.  With a view the entire time, it was one of my favorites!

Hiking: 
Hiking Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder
Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon
Visiting the Grand Canyon
Hiking 7 Bridges (Colorado Springs)

Running: 
Haunted Half Marathon 5k (19:40)
Two Weeks of Training: Easy Miles Out West

Diners: 
Sams 3 Diner (Denver)
New Castle Diner (Colorado)
King Chefs Diner (Colorado Springs)
Snooze (Denver)

Questions for You:
Do you have a favorite trail?
Have you ever been horseback riding?

Nike Zoom Fly Review

When Nike created the “breaking 2 project”, they created two shoes: the Nike Zoom Fly and the Nike Zoom Vapor Fly 4%.  The Nike Zoom Fly retails at $150, while the Zoom Fly 4% comes in at $250.  That is, if you can find a pair of Zoom Vapor fly 4% in your size.

The Zoom fly is a bit heavier and made for the everyday runner (or any runner not trying to break 2 hours in the marathon).

It’s made more for training.  When we first brought them into work, I wanted to try them because “everyone was”, however, I had plenty of shoes in my rotation.  Waiting enough time also gave me the option to buy a flashy red colorway too.

Nike Voom fly red

Fit:

The Zoom Fly is more narrow than many of Nikes training shoes including the Pegasus and Vomero.  The upper is seamless so it’s able to fit wider feet.  They don’t make either in a “wide”.  I bought a women’s size 10 which is fine, but I do believe a 10 wide would be a slightly better fit.

Nike Voom fly red

Ride:

The shoe weighs about 8.75 ounces for men and 6.5 for ladies.  While it’s not the lightest, it’s definitely a lighter shoe.

The Zoom Fly has  10 mm heel-toe drop so it isn’t minimal either.  The focus of the shoe is for “everyday” training.  It’s not the shoe meant to run sub 2 hours in a marathon but the shoe to keep you healthy during training.  Nike is in the process of changing many of their running shoes to the new technology you see in the Zoom Fly and Zoom Vapor Fly.

I’ve run just over 100 miles on it and I like the fit and feel a lot.  It’s soft and cushioned but not too squishy.  It’s responsive enough that I like to do workouts in it without my feet feeling too beat up.  I was doing workouts in either the Saucony Type A or the Altra Escalante but have found the extra cushion to be nice and better to recover faster.

One thing I will say is, similar to the Nike Lunarglide, there isn’t a whole lot of traction at the bottom.  On a rainy day or mud, be prepared to not feel as much contact with the ground.

Nike Voom fly red

Finally, something I shouldn’t comment on but I will is these are a good looking pair of shoes.  It’s always fun to run in a shoe that you’re like…wow these are sharp.

Personally, I see the Nike Zoom Fly as a tempo, speed, or racing shoe.  While I know many people who do the bulk of their mileage in the Zoom Fly, I personally need more cushion.

Current Rotation:
Saucony Freedom (daily runs, easy runs)
Brooks Glycerin (daily runs, easy runs)
Brooks Levitate (easy runs)
Hoka Clifton 4 (daily runs, easy runs)
Nike Zoom fly (workouts)
Altra Escalante (workouts)
Saucony type A/Endorphin (racing)

Questions for you:
Did you watch the Nike Sub 2 hours documentary?
What is your current favorite running shoe?

Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27.57)

I wrote about 1000 words recapping the Philadelphia Half Marathon.  Then I forgot to save it…not the first time this has happened.

Most people know, but food poisoning prevented me from having the “race of my life”.   I raced with how I felt for the day, and that is all I can ask from myself.  I’m not disappointed, in fact, I’m thankful I finished injury free.

I should rewind.  For the last two weeks, I’ve been suffering from food poisoning.  I’m not violently vomiting, however, I’m often tired and I never feel “great” or like myself.  Occasionally at night, I’ll feel extremely sick.

I contracted it coming home from vacation.  The first night home, I spent violently getting sick.  It was bad enough, we thought maybe my appendix had burst.  After getting some tests done, I found out I had food poisoning.  As I mentioned, it isn’t the typical “24-hour bug” but can stay in your system for about 70 days.  Not violently vomiting for 70 days but more tired, just not feeling great.

The doctor told me I could run, but I might feel sick.  From that day until the Philadelphia half marathon, I had 13 days.  During that time period, I ran 2 5ks and a few runs.  I never puked during any runs, but I did feel like I was in a “funk.”

The problem was, I ran most of my mileage untimed and easy.  That’s not necessarily a problem, except running easy miles is very different than running a fast half marathon.  My stomach showed me that very quickly.

I didn’t have a goal at Philadelphia.  I’ve never run particularly well, in fact, my fastest time was from the only other time I’ve had food poisoning (a completely different strain). Then last year I felt like garbage.  I live about 10 miles from Center City, and while I can’t say I even “love” the race, I seem to just keep signing up.

And so here we are year 3 of running the Philadelphia half.

Like many race days, I slept in later than anticipated.  It wasn’t an issue, and my husband and I arrived to Philadelphia, parked, and stood in line at security around 6:30.  The security to get into the race is lengthy, and we waited about 40 minutes.  It left us with 20 minutes to drop off bags and use the bathroom.  It was probably not enough time, and we made into the corral at 7:28.  My good friend, Erin, thought I decided to DNS considering we basically had to beg security to reopen the corral.

The race went off, and Erin, my husband, and I started together.  Erin and I ran the Atlantic City half, and we had discussed possibly running Philly together.  The first mile went out fast. I chatted with Erin and my husband, and we hit the first mile around 6:45.  I felt decent, but I also wasn’t sure how I would feel later on.

The first few miles of the race are the fastest and easiest.  We ran mile 2 in 6:17 and 3 in 6:27.  The pace didn’t feel uncomfortable, and I was able to mumble a few words.

Around the 5k, I noticed my husband getting a bit antsy.  I knew he was going to drop me.  I also knew we would still be married either way at the finish line and I was happy he was feeling good.  He hasn’t raced a lot of half marathons since his 1:20 PR, so it was motivating to see him pick it up.  I had no energy to keep up though.

At mile 4, I ran into Alana who is gearing up for the CIM.  We ultimately ran a good portion of the race together with Erin.  I ran mile 5 in 6:37 and 6 in 6:43.  Around the halfway point, my stomach started to hurt.  Not like use the bathroom hurt, but like I might puke hurt.  I thought it might have been not interacting well the Gatorade (I’ve never had an issue before) but realized the doctor was right.

I began scanning the course for a restroom to vomit.  Then, of course, I saw no less than 5 of my good friends or people who have come into work.  I gave a wincing smile, while also not trying to puke on them.

Somewhere between mile 9-10, I found a bathroom and vomited.  It wasn’t a huge vomit, but breakfast and Gatorade came up.  For about 10 seconds I thought, should I just stop?  I stood straight and didn’t feel awful, so I quickly exited the bathroom.  I think the situation lasted all of 30 seconds to a minute.  I still saw Alana and everyone else ahead, so I knew I had not gotten that far.

I told myself if you need to stop…you need to stop.  No one cares if you cross the finish line.  No one cares about your pace, time, or speed.  We climbed a few hills and I didn’t feel as bad.  As weird as it sounds, after that stop I felt as though I was finding my groove.

Around mile 11, I saw Philadelphia in the distance.  I told myself 2 miles.  20 minutes and you’ll be chillin’ (a real thought I had).  Due to delusion and downhill, I crushed mile 11 in 6:25.  Somehow I found myself running entirely alone for the final mile.  I saw both Alana and Erin within the minute ahead, and I was just…alone.  I seem to always find the pocket of running by myself in big races.

I crossed the finish in 1:27.57 and I was shocked.  A week ago, I wasn’t sure I would run.  In the early parts of the race, I believed a 1:30 might be doable.  (I told Erin it was my goal).  While I know I’m in much better fitness than a 1:28, you must race for how you feel for the day.  Whether that is good or bad.  I’m happy I finished and even finished strong, though I know it was probably not my smartest move.

tim and I philadelphia half

That was my last planned half marathon for the year.  I’m looking forward to shorter things while my food poisoning clears up.  As I mentioned in my training log, it could last up to 70 days (I’m on 17 now?).

Questions for you:
Have you had food poisoning before?
Have you stopped during a race before?
Postive Question: How was your Thanksgiving?

%d bloggers like this: